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How to stop dwelling on things

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Aussie Willy, May 30, 2010.

  1. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    How do you stop dwelling and thinking about those things that bug you?

    You know, those stupid little things that niggle at your mind and you would really just forget them and move on. Because they are not worth losing sleep over. But you continue to go over them again and again in your mind.

    Are there any methods that people have figured out for dealing with them?

    I ask because with myself it happens quite often and I get annoyed with myself that I can't let things go. However I assume it happens to quite a few of us and we all go through it at certain points of time.

    MOIJTO Banned Member

    If its something that really causes you upset with your daily life than I suggest some counseling.

    Some self help books can be useful too, I cannot remember the authors name but the title is--Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, he has other books too.

    I have found that life is way to short to allow yourself to be bothered by little things. I have found that really putting priorities in order (important things not wants) helps.

    Bright Blessings!
  3. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    I've found the best way to avoid thinking about negative things is to stay as busy as I can with something positive. Usually I'm so tired when I go to bed that I couldn't stay awake thinking about things even if I tried.
  4. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    Distraction. This tends to work for me too.
  5. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    If I am about to go to bed and there is some thing that's been bugging me all day and I can't stop thinking about it and I know I won't sleep, I have a little journal on my dresser in which I write down all those kinds of thoughts and work through them in order to get them out of my head and on paper and acknowledge them for what they are. Normally, they no longer bother me and I am able to sleep.
  6. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    I have this problem, BIG TIME! If something gets to me, it gets to me big time. I either don't care at all or can't seem to quit thinking about it. It gets so bad that I will have anxiety issues and high blood pressure. The only thing that works a little for me is to go to a quiet place and basically meditate. I just sit somewhere and take big deep breaths and try to think about nothing. It calms me down a bit but usually I go back to thinking about whatever it is that was bothering me, anyway. This is not always the answer but sometimes the only thing that will work is to take something like xanax, especially if it is at night and I can't sleep.
  7. mila19

    mila19 New Member

    Solution 1. :nopryde:
    Solution 2. watch a movie, better if a big drama. It makes me look at things in the "There can always be worse than my situation" :p
    Solution 3. Talk to a friend, but avoid the negative nelly type. Even if you don't want to go into details, sometimes having somebody saying it will pass or give you some idea helps. People who dwell most of the times lack the ability to judge objectively or be constructive.
  8. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    I go for a run. This, obviously, only works during the day, though. Running through my neighborhood at 3 in the morning would give you more things to dwell upon. ;)
  9. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    When something's really bothering me, I write down things exactly as I feel them - no justifying, no minimizing - in a private entry on my livejournal. It's like a release.
  10. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  11. altai_rose

    altai_rose Well-Known Member

    I tend to freak out and dwell on just about everything.:lol: Being busy really helps against it. I also find thought suppression to be helpful. I tell myself, "Okay, I'm going to worry about this for 10 minutes only." And then I let myself really worry and dwell on the subject for 10 minutes. Then I tell myself, "Okay. I've finished worrying about it."
  12. Norlite

    Norlite Well-Known Member


    I used to be really bad too. And both work great for me now.

    1. keep incredibly busy.
    2. decide I'm done thinking about it now. (very hard to do. learned how after years and years)

    And a third. Ask myself what I can do to "fix" this. If anything, get to it and fix it best I can. If the answer is nothing, then just decide worrying or dwelling on it is useless and go on from there

    As I said, it took years to get to where I am now, but it seemed to work for me. I'm now relatively stress free after being so bad in my past live I'd make myself sick.
  13. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Yup. Keeping busy with other things leaves no energy to think about the stuff you can't help.

    This is probably what I do most. If I decide that I can do something about it, I only think about it long enough to decide what I'm going to do. I then immediately do it, so it doesn't bug me anymore. And then it's done. No need to think about it anymore, because you've already done something about it.

    It also helps if you're really lazy, like I am. When I was younger, my mom used to tell me that my laziness would be the end of me, but I think it's the main reason why I'm so relaxed and happy as an adult. :lol: I only have so much energy to do or think about things, and I'd rather not spend that precious energy wallowing on things that make me anxious. It's basically an issue of prioritizing.
  14. Dr.Siouxs

    Dr.Siouxs Well-Known Member

    try a form of active meditation. Do one thing at a time and put your whole heart/attention/focus into whatever it is that is being done--just be fully present in the moment.
  15. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

    I've been like this since I was a very young kid (like 5/6) and the above suggestions (general therapy, cognitive therapy, medication, meditation, keeping myself busy/distracted, talking with friends, etc) never worked for me. I would always just return to dwelling on the same things.

    Once I hit my thirties I think I started to accept that this is just probably the way my brain is wired, and tried try adapt over the past couple of years the best I could.
  16. Mozart

    Mozart Well-Known Member

    I have this problem as well! Mostly it is over little imperfections while performing or ruminating over the intentions of others/ trying to read between the lines. It is driving me crazy!
  17. indicatoto101

    indicatoto101 Active Member

    Distraction works for me too. One of my reoccuring thoughts is the time I made a fool of myself stating my opinion about brokeback mountain in college. I also try positive reframing, aka "it was a blunder but I've matured since then" and use mindfulness techniques to let it go.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  18. BrokenAnkle

    BrokenAnkle Active Member

    I've gotten much worse about this problem as I age, sigh. Best thing for me is to stay busy and listen to some cheery music. Dones' always work though, but better than nothing.
  19. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Solution 1: Pity I don't drink. I don't have an excuse outside myself for my problems.
    Solution 2: Wish I had more money. But I totally agree because there is always someone worse off than myself. That is one reason why I get annoyed because I am not as bad off as some. Things shouldn't be such a drama.
    Solution 3: Lucky that for a couple of situations, there are people I can talk to. Particularly one person who a couple of us both deal with who bugs us both just as much. Talking to this other person recently was great and turned negative energy into positive.

    Thanks everyone for the words of advice. I knew I was not the only one and I hope that others can gain some useful tips from this thread. It doesn't require counselling but rather a sense of perspective.
  20. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Counselling doesn't have to be just for people on the brink of a mental breakdown. My boss suffered from anxiety for years when he was working in NYC, but went to talk to "a shrink" and it helped him a lot. It wasn't anywhere close to debilitating anxiety, but he's A LOT happier now. He totally recommends that sort of thing.

    If you think it can help you, go for it. :)
  21. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I have done counselling before which certainly helped sort out anger issues and the family issues which caused them. Those were much more serious.
  22. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

    I hate to say it, but sometimes the only thing that will work in these situations is TIME. At some point, when you least expect it, you'll let whatever "it" is go. I've had this happen in my life many times. It's just a feeling that comes over me at some point where I have put the issue in perspective and move on.

    Frankly, unless it's causing you health issues worrying or dwelling on it, sometimes it's not a bad thing for your heart and mind to dwell on something that's bothering you. Rather than distract yourself, allow yourself the time to work through it.
  23. silverstars

    silverstars New Member

    If it's something small, I love going for runs with music blasting until the only thing that I can think about is the run itself and nothing else. I've also come to view skating as a distraction (this was NOT the case during high school and earlier, when I was competitive and it was just another source of stress, but since I've sort of redefined it as something fun, I've learned to use it as a relaxation technique).

    If it's something serious, I'm not sure how much distracting yourself can help--the issue is still there, you're just ignoring it, which is a fine temporary solution, but won't help too much in the long run. I agree with Bostonfan--let yourself think through it, especially the reason why you keep returning to that one thought, and try to let it go (or at least put less importance on it). I'm not one of those people who is fully capable of living without regrets (although I'm envious of those who can), but I find that this usually helps me.